From the Editor: B.C. begins the year with positive steps

(Kristen Frier)

There are various ways to enter the new year. In Latin America, for example, some folks wear red underwear on New Year’s Eve to welcome love, or yellow underwear to bring good luck and fortune. While we aren’t in the warm arms of Latin America, it looks like British Columbia is wearing yellow for 2022.

After an overwhelming year of floodsdeadly heatwaves, and questionable climate initiatives, it’s safe to say that the last piece of news we want to hear is about any more catastrophes. Instead, let’s focus our attention on a few positive things B.C. has to offer this year.

For home buyers, the province will be introducing cooling off periods in spring 2022. A cooling off period is a period of time after a home purchase when the buyer can choose to cancel a purchase with their funds being returned. 

In the midst of B.C.’s real estate crisis, a cooling off period provides British Columbians with a safe way to purchase a property while knowing that their funds won’t be completely lost if they change their mind.  

In other parts of Latin America like Panama, effigies of famous people within the country are burned in giant bonfires while groups of people chit-chat around the burning doll. This takes place after Christmas, and it signifies getting rid of the “old” and welcoming in the “new.”

B.C. may have also put its doll on the burning fire because starting this year, B.C. workers won’t have to choose between going to work sick or losing wages. Paid sick leave will be standard for workers with a minimum of five paid sick days each year. 

This is the province’s first-ever permanent paid sick leave, which provides workers with five paid sick days each year, and both full and part-time employees are eligible.

The province is also progressing towards economic recovery. There isn’t anything better than beginning the new year with fewer bills. 

“Based on data until the end of September, B.C.’s deficit is projected at $1.7 billion – a substantial reduction from the $9.7-billion deficit originally estimated at Budget 2021, and the $4.8-billion deficit predicted in the First Quarterly Report,” according to the government’s website.

Hiding money around the house brings prosperity for the new year, according to Ecuadorian belief. It seems like B.C. was hiding loonies and toonies around their living room and inside their pillows. 

This reduced deficit is due to the high revenue from “personal and corporate income taxes, increased activity in the retail and housing sectors, strong resource revenues and commercial Crown net income.”

Climate change is one of the most important issues of our generation. For B.C. voters, 45 per cent of them noted climate change as their top federal election issue in 2021.In return, the provincial government is still working on completing its 2021-2022 Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy

Some promised climate actions include a Community Resiliency Investment Program to assist Indigenous communities and local governments in reducing local wildfire threats, investment in 248 flood risk reduction projects across the province, and the development of regional agricultural climate adaptation plans. 

In Cuba, throwing a bucket of water out a window signifies renewal. With these climate promises, the province must have been chaotically throwing buckets of water out a window while splashing a few folks for extra luck on renewing the environment.

Despite efforts on wearing yellow underwear or burning dolls into a bonfire for good luck and renewal, the new year will also remain unpredictable. Still, understanding that positive rays are coming our way is a great way to start the year.